Born and raised in Northern California, Tiphany Adams was a small town girl with big city dreams. And then the unthinkable happened just prior to graduation from high school, she became the only survivor of a high speed, head-on collision in October 2000. Tiphany spent three weeks in a coma before managing to graduate that June, and go on to attend a Community College in Stockton, California where she studied psychology, child development, communications and theatre.
Since then, the outgoing and athletic Tiphany has adapted to life in a wheelchair while continuing to pursue life with a whole new perspective. She has maintained a role of an actress on a music video (Bret Dennon with Mandi Moore) and commercials (Nike, Disneyland, PSA H1N1) as well as a co-star lead on Sundance Channel’s, “Critic’s Choice Awards”, Best Reality series Push Girls.
Her most noble of contributions has been that of an ardent public speaker on drunk driving, drug abuse, families dealing with addiction, as well as topics of motivation and inspiration in the work place, and on behalf of the GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) which is affiliated with LGBTQ . Tiphany has volunteered her time for many charities, and deems herself a messenger of truth and a vehicle for compassion and kindness.
Tiphany continues to embrace all the challenges that greet her each day with a desire to make the world a better place by bringing love and light to all who cross her path. It’s a lofty goal, but, with an inimitable enthusiasm running through her veins, it is clear Tiphany will make the world a better place just by being in it.
Mia Schaikewitz BIO
At age 15, Mia was a rising star on her high school swim team and training for a new season when suddenly one evening she found herself unable to move her legs. Within 12 hours, doctors discovered that an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) had ruptured in her spinal cord, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. With resilient determination and a positive attitude, Mia moved forward to pursue her life goals. She finished high school and then attended the University of Florida where she thrived academically as well as socially, becoming the first girl in a wheelchair at the University to rush and join a sorority.
After graduating with a degree in Media Production, Mia moved to Los Angeles where she developed an award winning career in graphic design and branding. She is also a passionate pioneer for disability advocacy delivering keynote speeches nationwide at universities such as UC Berkeley and Queens College, and renowned educational conferences such as CAPED. In 2012, Mia became one of the stars of the show Push Girls on the Sundance Channel which inspires audiences internationally and won the Critic’s Choice Award for “Best Reality Series” in 2013. Extending the spotlight, Mia recently signed on as the spokesperson for Bobrick, a company trailblazing in modern accessibility and universal design.
In addition to her dynamic career success, Mia enjoys participating in multiple adaptive sports and recently returned to her former sport of competitive swimming.
Angela Rockwood BIO
Angela Rockwood was born in Clovis, New Mexico, and experienced the world growing up as the child of a career military man. She started modeling at the age of 17, later becoming a fitness instructor, which led her into the world of martial arts. At 22, she relocated to Los Angeles, and within a year was engaged to her best friend. They bought a house and she fell back into the entertainment world by launching an acting career, with small roles in The Fast and the Furious and the syndicated television series V.I.P.
Angela’s life was practically perfect until turmoil struck one week before 9/11 on September 3, 2001. She and her two bridesmaids were driving home from a trip in San Francisco when her girlfriend spun out of control. Angela was in the backseat and was thrown through the side-rear triangular window suffering a broken neck and severed spinal cord; as a result she was diagnosed as a c4 quadriplegic.
When Angela awoke from surgery, she was given a 3 to 5 % chance of regaining any movement from the neck down. She felt her paralysis was for a reason, that she had a mission to fulfill. Unable to move or feel anything, she knew instantly she had two things left; life and her indomitable spirit. She stated she’s “had a huge choice to make: to turn a catastrophic situation into something extraordinary and to be a powerful voice for others in similar catastrophic situations”.
Angela, a martial artist and a firm believer in alternative methods of healing didn’t accept her doctor’s prognosis. Two months after the accident, with numbness in her hands, she was able to wiggle her left index finger, a dramatic moment captured live on an Entertainment Tonight piece about the ‘Power of the Mind’. And then, just a month later, she touched the top of her head. In 2003, she was the third American to undergo a pioneering stem cell surgery in Portugal, which allowed her to later operate a manual wheelchair. Although Angela can’t move her fingers fully, she can feed herself, paint, train in martial arts and apply her own makeup (which she certainly doesn’t need with her natural beauty!).
As an Ambassador for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Angela represents the Paralysis Resource Center in outreach to Asian-American communities. She serves as a spokes model for Ti-Lite Wheelchairs and also works as a model for Target and Nordstrom. Angela has also appeared on Larry King Live, and in People Magazine discussing how to live life to the fullest since her paralysis.
She has energized her acting career by landing in three national commercials, AARP, Mabelline, and Sony. Angela is also featured in CinemAbility, a documentary to be released in 2013, directed by Jenni Gold, which includes Ben Affleck, Jaime Foxx, and Jane Seymour.
After her injury, she chose not to focus on the negative, but instead to go down a positive path, hoping to be an example for others and especially those in the disability community. Her tenacious attitude and purposeful personality allowed her to shatter the negative stereotypes as opposed to focusing on them. With her ultimate mission of pushing boundaries, she created, produced and stars in the Sundance Channel’s, ‘’Critic’s Choice Awards’’, Best Reality series Push Girls. The show follows the lives of five women living with paralysis while cultivating their friendship as they undertake everyday life. The exposure of Push Girls has given her the opportunity to make television appearances on Ellen, Jeff Probst Show, Marie Osmond, Access Hollywood, Inside Edition, Good Day LA, Extra, Huffington Post Live, Kcal 9, Katie Couric Show, Good Morning America, and a return segment on Entertainment Tonight. She even had an appearance at The White House!
Angela continues to fulfill her post-accident vision by sharing her own experience with hopes of creating a change within others. She is passionately relentless in manifesting change and implementing ideas through her teaching at the Joey Travolta Theatre ‘Manifestation Classes’. As an innovator, she has successfully spoken about ‘Living to the Fullest’ at Rancho Amigos Hospital, L.A. Rescue Mission Assembly, and Edwards Air Force Base. Angela has shared her secrets of ‘The Beauty from Within’ for the Miss Global Organization. A group of 4,000 Paul Mitchell students in Las Vegas, and the California Association of Realtors were the recipients of a topic close to her heart; ‘Pushing the Limits’.
Deep within Angela’s soul she carries this mantra daily: “Life is a gift and what we do with our life is our gift back to the world, to others, and to ourselves.”
Auti left the beautiful area around San Diego at 18 years old to begin a professional dancing career. She was well on her way to success as she soon performed with hip-hop artists, including N.W.A., Kid ‘n Play and LL Cool J. She soon branched into choreography and music and joined an all-female Latina hip-hop group that was given a recording contract by Columbia “Ruffhouse” Records.
On May 3, 1992, Auti was in a life threatening auto accident that snapped her back in half, severing her spinal cord and leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. After a difficult seven years that included the sudden loss of her mother to cancer, depression, drug abuse and jail time, Auti rededicated her life and began to rebuild her life. She returned to dancing becoming the first hip-hop dancer to continue her professional career in a wheelchair. She started a hip-hop wheelchair dance group, Colours ‘n’ Motion, in 2003 and performed in Ludacris’s hit video “Stand Up.” She also reprised her choreography with a dance piece that included her dance partner for a performance with Ludacris on the Vibe Music Awards.
Along with dancing, Auti is pursuing careers in music and acting. She and her husband of four years, Producer/DJ Eric “Stretch Boogie” Rivera, are working on an album and co-starred in Susan Seidelman’s HBO film MUSICAL CHAIRS.
Auti is involved with numerous nonprofit organizations. She has established her own mentor-based program, “Save a Soul Foundation” to benefit at-risk youth and young adults in the Los Angeles area. She is a director of the Positive Redirection Team at Operation Confidence, a nonprofit organization for people with disabilities and workis with the UCP (United Cerebral Palsy) Wheels For Humanity program and the Kanimambo Foundation which focuses on delivering 300 wheelchairs to the neglected disabled community in Mozambique, Africa. Auti has also worked with an out-of-the-box wheelchair company, Colours Wheelchairs, to provide inspiration to disabled communities throughout the U.S. while being sponsored by Colours Wheelchairs.